Cover for 2020 - A Year In Review

2020 - A Year In Review

Disclaimer: I mostly wrote this blog post for myself. Writing my Year in review helps me to celebrate my biggest wins, see what was wrong and define goals for the upcoming year.

a patchwork of images for 2020

👨‍💻 Work

I am still working at VSware as a Sr Software Engineer.

This year again, I learned a lot of things and I also reinforced my skill set. My mains focuses were:

  • Managing a big frontend infrastructure;
  • Making accessible apps (A11Y) ~ Our application needs to meet AA criteria (WCAG). I had to learn how to use a screen-reader and how to make web apps usable for everybody. I also did a knowledge sharing session with my team.
  • Writing relevant tests.

👨🏼‍🔬 Side projects

2020 was not a very prolific year for me. However, I managed to do some stuff aside from my work:

  • Gatsby-started-morning-dew gained 80 stars on GitHub (for a total of 180). I still maintain this project since my blog uses it directly. I sometimes receive email from happy users… it’s very pleasant :)
  • Revamped my resume using web technologies. I don’t know if it’s a good idea or not but it was fun to adapt a webpage for mobile, desktop and … printers!
  • Mentoring: I (mostly) mentored G., a guy who wants to retrain in web dev. He made very good progress over the last year and I hope he’ll find a job in Q1 2021! I tried to mentor a few other people, but it’s hard to keep it up. I don’t think I’ve room to handle more than 1 person.

✍️ Blog

  • Last year I published 11 posts (+2 translated in French);
  • I added some cool features on my blog: dark mode, RSS, ability to publish an article in a different language and some SEO/A11y improvements.
  • cumulated 49k pages views and 21k users. If we compare the numbers with last year, it’s a significant drop. But, before June, my data was biased since I included statistics from my side project. 🤦‍♂️
    This year, I’ll change the way I write my posts and see the impact on SEO/frequentation. This website is also a place where I like to experiment with things. Most of the time it doesn’t work! Page view graph (Google Analytics)
  • I still cross-post most of my articles on I cumulated a total of 134k views / 3.6k reactions / 3.4k followers.

✈️ Travels

my travel map

I lived in 4 countries in 2020, all Europeans. I was expecting more… but you know how it is right now. I don’t know if I’ll continue to travel as much as I used to in 2021/2022.

I lived in / visited:

  • Portugal: Lisbon and Porto;
  • Hungary: Budapest;
  • France: Lyon and Angers (was there for 1st lockdown);
  • Germany: Berlin and Kiel (I visited my cousin).

Right now, I’m in Berlin. I moved there this summer between 2 lockdowns. I’m not gonna lie, it’s not the perfect timing to move to a new city since all meetups are cancelled.

✨ Random stuff

  • 🌆 Moved to Berlin. I might stay…who knows!?
  • 🛎 I have my name on my doorbell. Might sound stupid to you, I’ve been homeless -in an administrative way- for years! But I don’t think I’ll stay long in this place. I’m still giving a fake address every time someone is asking me :D
  • 🍺 Brew beer for the first time (with my parents)! There’s 8L of IPA fermenting right now!
  • 🍸 Discovered a new passion for Gin. My actual top 3 is: Monkey 47, Opihr and Gunpowder.
  • 👨‍🔧 Spent a few days helping a friend to change his roof! First time in my life I walked on a roof.
  • 🕹 Reinstalled Age of Empires II. I used to play this game 20y ago! Still love it and I play regularly now. Ping me if you want to kick my ass! ;)
  • 😔 I experimented anxiety for the first time in my life.
  • 🏢 Worked a full day in an office! The last time I walked into an office was in Dec 2018! (A friend invited me to work in his office company.)
  • 🎱 Played snooker for first time! I’m not bad at pool but this game is way too difficult for me!
  • 🐦 Reached 600 followers on Twitter. I’m an influencer now! Just joking. It’s just a number for me and I don’t really care about it.

Previous “high-level goals”

  • 😐 [Travel] Discover new countries (Hungary 🇭🇺 and Japan 🇯🇵) ~ I only went to Hungary.
  • ❌ [Travel] Be more organised when it comes to my travels ~ That was a stupid goal. I like to be somehow unorganised when I (used to) travel. It gives more room to improvisation… (as long as I don’t miss my bus/train/plane)
  • ✅ [Life] Stay remote / nomad ~ this one is partially true.;
  • ❌ [Life] Continue to meet nomads when I travel;
  • ❌ [Life] Better invest my money ~ I’m still investing my money, but not regularly.
  • ✅ [Life] Complete another Dry January ~ I DID IT!
  • ✅ [Blog] Write 8 blog posts + continue to cross-post on ~ I wrote 11 (some of them are in)
  • ✅ [Blog] Write one post in a new platform ~ why not?;
  • ✅ [Blog] Add new functionalities on my blog (i.e. RSS) ~ I added cool stuff like RSS/dark mode/translated posts.
  • ❌ [Work] Learn more about Wasm (WebAssembly);
  • ✅ [Work] Give 1 technical talk ~ I was honoured to be the guest speaker for the 1st Vue.js Kenya 🇰🇪!

High-level 2021 goals

  • [Work] Find a new challenge at work (or get a new job)
  • [Work] Give 2/3 talks
  • [Work] Learn more about Wasm (WebAssembly)
  • [Work] Find a new cool side project!
  • [Work] Continue to mentor people (but 1 person max)
  • [Life] make 2021 better than 2020
  • [Life] Keep the “Dry January” tradition alive!
  • [Life] Better invest my money
  • [Blog] Keep blogging (10 blog posts, write shorter posts)
  • [Blog] Improve my website (i.e. use webmentions instead of disqus)
  • [Travel] Travel again (if I’m allowed to!)

About the author

Maxence Poutord

Hey, I'm Maxence Poutord, a passionate software engineer. In my day-to-day job, I'm working as a senior front-end engineer at Orderfox. When I'm not working, you can find me travelling the world or cooking.

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